„Živa, Göttin der Liebe, die slowenische Venus“: Ein Beispielfall literarischer Mythopoiesis
»Živa, bógnja ljubezni, slovenska Venera«: Vzorčni primer literarne mitotvornosti
France Prešeren's epic poem The Baptism at the Savica (1836) presents the goddess of love, Živa, as a central figure in the Slavic pantheon, the religion of the Ancient Slavs itself being imagined as a dualistic system centered around the conflict between Živa as a naturalistic principle of Life and Črti, »the Hating Ones«. There are at least three reasons for believing that Prešeren's Živa is a literary construct esentially based on Virgil's Venus: 1) she is only mentioned in one historical source, 2) she is described as a »Slavic Venus« by the author himself, 3) a crucial scene leading to the conversion of the angry pagan warrior (Črto-mir, “the peace-hater”) is based on the scene of Virgil’s Aeneid (2.566 ff.) in which Venus prevents the angry hero from killing Helen. It is argued that Prešeren constructs the “pagan” antagonism between Love and Strife on the model of the traditional allegory of Venus and Mars, and that the syncretistic tendency of the Christian creed presented at the end of the poem can be explained by a reference to the Platonist allegory of duae Veneres.
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